Phone directories are something we have grown up with and often familiarity with things affords them a certain power. And there's no doubt that they do still serve a purpose.
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In their favor, phone books offer:
- A style of marketing we are familiar with - seeing that many of us have grown up with it.
- Provide a collective source of info all in one place.
- Exposure to a vast number of homes as copies are delivered extensively and for free.
A Kelsey report showed that there was a 10% decline in phone book usage in 2008 – this was accounted for by an increase in internet use. However, a 10% drop still mean that high numbers of people still made use of phone directories. The prognosis was that the decline would continue, however, although it's hard to say if that eventually lead to the demise of the phone book entirely.
The realities of phone book advertising:
In much the same way as your SEO consultant will advise you to have a good website, well optimized to increase your web presence; it is much the case with phone book coverage. Bordered adverts in their own windows catch the eye far better than the text ads do. The inclusion of colors and emboldened text all make your advert stand out. Size matters too! Of course going for the more high profile ad will eat more of your budget than the humble text, but it is proven to bring better results.
On and offline, effective marketing costs, the wise business owner will perhaps opt to advertise in both environments – after all, prospective clients live in both worlds, so ruling one out can be foolhardy and mean missed opportunities.
To conclude, phone book advertising still has life in it yet. There will some business types who find it suits them better than it would others. The old advice again, about knowing your target audience, and knowing them really well, comes into play here. There are certain sections of society that you can reach out to better using the traditional method – so don't over look this.